Friday, February 14, 2020

Today, Trump's memo to Congress about the killing of Soleimani reached them and was immediately made public. In it, Trump said NOTHING about any imminent attacks. He said he killed Soleimani for his past attacks. But, on the day it happened, he, Pompeo, and Esper all said, over and over, that they had evidence of imminent attacks. Very imminent, they said, although not knowing exactly when or where. But today, there was no mention of any imminent attacks nor any reference to having claimed it.  It just disappeared. I guess it's another case of a previous directive becoming "inoperative." 

And, in this case, life is imitating art because Trump said that the "Authorization to Use Military Force Act" of 2001, which was passed right after 9/11, gave the him authority to kill Soleimani, and that is exactly what Senator Harlan Cruthers said in My Stretch of Texas Ground. When questioned about the legality of water-boarding and other "advanced interrogation techniques," he said that the Authorization to Use Military Force Act of 2001 covered it. 

The imminent attack defense never did make any sense because, obviously, the attacks weren't that imminent. In domestic law, it's very clear: the preemptive killing of someone for a future bad act is forbidden. If he is not in the act of attacking you at that moment, you can't kill him. This came up in a murder trial which ended today in Dallas. I spoke to one of the jurors, who is a friend. One drug dealer had shot and killed another drug dealer, and he admitted doing it. But, he said the other guy was an imminent threat, that if he didn't kill him, that the other guy was going to kill him. But, the jury didn't buy it because, although the other drug dealer was armed, he never reached for his gun; he never threatened to kill the other guy; and he never made any move that could be interpreted as aggressive.  They knew that because they had a video of the whole encounter, so they could see for themselves. So, they convicted the guy to 27 years in prison.    

But, in Soleimani's case, I guess it's mute now because they are not even using that justification any more. That's been dashed. And in regard to claims of his past acts, it includes bombing a Jewish center in Argentina, embassies in Africa, and many others in which there was no claim that Suleimani was even there, just that he was behind it. But, these claims about his past attacks have been no more substantiated than the claims of his future attacks. He wasn't in Argentina. He wasn't in Africa. What evidence is there that he was responsible? It's really just part of the whole demonizing of Iran. Why would Iran want to blow up a Jewish Community Center in Argentina? Iran allows Jews to live and worship, unharassed, in Iran and have community centers there. That is not in dispute. So, why would Suleimani or Iran have any desire to blow up a Jewish Community Center in Argentina? And what reason do YOU have to believe that he or they did just because our government and media tell you so?  

Here's an article about today's release. I don't think we've heard the last about the killing of Soleimani, and I don't think History is going to be kind to it.

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